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Dengue

Dengue is from Swahili phrase 'ki denga pepo' that means 'cramp like seizures caused by an evil spirit'. Dengue virus fever is common in most tropical places of the world namely Asia, Africa, Australia and the Pacific. Aedes mosquitoes spread the infection after biting the infected persons. They usually breed in flowerpots, old oil drums, water storage tins that are close to densely populated areas. Mosquitoes that cause dengue bite during the day. Dengue infection occurs at two levels - dengue fever at normal levels and dengue hemorrhagic fever at extreme levels.


Symptoms of dengue fever

Unexpectedly high fever, headache, rashes, muscle and joint pain, and pain behind the eyes (retro-orbital) are the key symptoms of dengue. The joint pain is so severe that dengue is also termed as 'break bone fever'. Loss of appetite and queasiness are other notable symptoms in dengue. Few patients might also suffer from diarrhea and gastritis. The overall sickness period lasts up to 10 days; total recovery from the illness can take about a month's time. Platelet count drops with the onset of fever and improves as the fever reduces. Dengue can be diagnosed after a blood test.


Treating dengue

People infected with dengue are advised to take good rest and drink plenty of fluids. Patients who are unable to take oral fluids are given intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration of the body. Patients have to be isolated from mosquitoes so as to avoid spread of the infection. With severe cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever, blood transfusion might be recommended to compensate the blood loss from the mouth, nose and gums.

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Bibliography / Reference

Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: November 22, 2019